Saturday, February 12, 2011

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Wish Upon the Pleiades (Hokago no Pleiades)

Wish Upon the Pleiades (Hokago no Pleiades)

Official Sites: Japanese
Additional Links: ANN Entry
Video [Free]: YouTube

Wish Upon the Pleiades (Hokago no Pleiades), an animated collaboration from automaker SUBARU (whose name is the Japanese equivalent of the star cluster) and anime powerhouse GAINAX (Petite Princess Yucie, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Magical Shopping Center Abenobashi, This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, Gunbuster), made its anticipated bow onto YouTube this month, and in addition to its untranslated form, an English-subbed version of the show has also been provided.

Comprising of four 5-7 minute episodes, HnP follows along traditional "magical girl" lines, focusing on a young girl named Subaru, who stumbles upon a secret meeting of girls at her school that are moonlighting as magical girls. Just as quickly as she discovers them is she recruited to their ranks as they try to retrieve lost "engine parts"--though an adversary also in search of them stands in their way. Stellar animation--with Shinkai-level visuals--and great music help punctuate SUBARU x GAINAX's gorgeous production.

As often the case with YouTube's content, the videos are free to watch and are available in upwards of 720p in HD. The YT page itself is interesting, in that you can watch the videos via a simple, menu-like layout at the top, or just below it through the usual YT layout the separate playlists (and unlike with the top section, there is a full-screen button with the player). Additionally, the official website also hosts a "goody bag" ZIP-file full of character wallpaper, at resolutions ranging from 1024x768 to 1920x1080, including ones for iPhone/iPod touch devices (click on the third link on the main page with the "ZIP" page icon, or right-click here to save the file). Owners of those iDevices who access the site can find wallpaper for them there.

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